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What are some of the issues with the R/M 2000+ Monte Carlos?
What are some issues with the R/M 98+ Taurus kits?
I've heard the Pro-Finish cars are more accurate. Is this true?
My model’s sick! It’s got TooWideTrackitis!
Some building tips for the R/M Dodge Intrepid
What are all those extra pieces in the new R/M Dodge kits?
What are some issues with the Polar Lights Talladega/Cyclone kits?
        How to fix the nose
        How to solve fit problems with the 429 engine
How do I make rear spoiler braces?
How can I get tires/tire decals to look better?
How can I paint the rollcage padding?
How can I simulate tape over the hood pins?
How much should I thin paint for airbrush use?
Why do folks keep mentioning Future Floor Wax? What do they use it for?
What is a good paint stripper?  What is this CSC stuff I keep hearing about?
How do I strip pro-finish cars?
Help! My model kit has broken/missing parts! What can I do?
What is the “Darkside”? I keep hearing board members refer to it.
Where can I get NASCAR info/pics/stats,etc.?
Why, when I ask for help on a Jeff Gordon model, does everyone make fun of me?
Why does everyone hate Rusty Wallace, Todd Bodine, Robby Gordon, etc.?

Specific Cars
Dale Earnhardt’s 2001 #3 Last Ride car (by Chris Kaufmann)
Dale Earnhardt’s Last Win Car (2000 Talladega) (by Chris Kaufmann)
Michael Waltrip’s 2001 Daytona 500 winner
Jeff Gordon’s 2001 Bugs Bunny car

Other tips:
How can I highlight small details?
Where can I find more modeling information?


What are some of the issues with the R/M 2000+ Monte Carlos?

Revell often makes their measurements for their models when the new cars are first introduced. However, usually NASCAR will change the rules regarding front air dams at some point during the first year of a new body type, in order to level the playing field.  For the Monte Carlos, this means that the kit body is not quite accurate for the way the majority of the cars ran.  The front air dam needs to be kicked out a couple of scale inches, and the rear spoiler on the model body is far too small. R/M also forgot to put decklid pins on the rear trunklid.

There are currently several resin pieces available in the aftermarket that update the MC nose to the correct specs.  Resin pieces are also available for a more accurate rear spoiler.  Modern Motorsports will soon be offering an entire resin MC body updated to the correct specs.

Some boardies simply modify the kit body by making incisions in the front air dam, pulling it out a bit, then puttying and sanding the area until smooth.  For the rear spoiler, there’s a great pattern made by Jodie Peeler that should make creating a new one a snap. See Jodie’s pattern at http://sites.nexusisp.com/lgsmirle/jodietip.htm.

The Monte Carlo’s tires also don’t seem to line up properly with the wheel openings on the body, although this problem is not obvious at first glance. Just an FYI.


What are some issues with the R/M 98+ Taurus kits?

In addition to TooWideTrackitis (see below), the Taurus kits suffer some problems with the completed chassis and rollcages not properly fitting under the bodies. This can result in a very awkward-looking model. Brian Fowler (MonoPed) provides the following solution:

Fixing cage to body clearance problem in the 00-02 Taurii:

Some builders have had to use drastic measures to get the completed rollcage and chassis to fit inside the bodies, such as cutting down the height of the rollcage, and grinding material from inside the roof area of
the body - there is a better way. All the clearance issues are avoidable if you take careful time to fit the chassis parts before gluing and painting.

1. Pay attention to the bottom of the cage sides, where they fit onto the chassis. Make sure they are clean of all flash, and filed straight so there are no gaps when glued in place. Also, drill out the mounting holes where the cage center attaches so the pins don't bottom out.

2. Take a look at the cage sides where they go up and over the rear wheel tubs. Take the time to fit them over the tubs with no binding or large gaps, and make sure they are the same left/right. Once glued in place, run a file over the top where the package tray fits to make it straight and level. This helps in keeping the package tray from hitting the base of the backlight.

3. The cage center (the bars behind the seat) are a potential trouble spot as well. Make sure the flash around the alignment pins on the top bar has been filed away, this will keep the tops of the cage sides from being pushed outward, and keep the cage from hitting the door post. Also, take the time to file the flash of the lower side bars, this will also keep from pushing the cage apart, and hitting inside the body.

4. With the firewall glued in place between the cage sides, run a file across the top of the assembly and get it level and straight, and trim the flash from the side bars where they connect to the firewall. Also, file a tiny bit of material from the dash top where it fits around the bars. This will gain clearance for the dash so it doesn't hit against the base of the windscreen.

5. The crossbar at the top of the windscreen and the center bar going from the center of the cage to the floorboard are put in together. Carefully fit the top bar between the cage sides, filling the mounting points as needed to keep from pushing the cage sides apart. Glue the center bar and the front crossbar in place at the same time, moving them around so they touch, and let dry.

Following these steps will gain all kinds of clearance between the body and chassis, and elimiate the need for other drastic measures. I have used this method on all '98-02 Tuarii, and have not had any problems fitting the body.

Another benefit of this approach is that the car can still be entered in a box stock class and not look like it was hacked up and modified :-)


I've heard the Pro-Finish kits are more accurate. Is this true?

Yes and no. Generally, the body contours of the pro-finish kits are indeed more accurate than their glue kit cousins. For the 2000+ Taurus, this is especially noticible. Board consensus is that the Pro-Finish Taurus bodies are FAR more accurate than the Taurus glue kits. The Pontiac Pro-Finish kits have a more accurate front nose and valance, reflecting the changes made to the cars in the 1998 season. The Pro-Finish Monte Carlos have a slighly more accurate nose and rear spoiler.

Keep in mind, though, that the chassis for the Pro-Finish kits are far more simplified than the glue kits. Also, the rear suspension/trailing arm/driveshaft assembly on the Pro-Finish kits looks especially clunky.

My model’s sick! It’s got TooWideTrackitis!

Don’t worry, this is an easily curable condition.

The R/M Taurus kits suffer from a particularly nasty case of TooWideTrackitis. This is where the wheels and tires of the kit stick out too far from under the body, giving the model an off-road look not at all appropriate for a NASCAR racer. The Monte Carlos suffer from this as well, although not to such a bad degree.

There are several solutions to this problem.  One is to sand down the “bosses” on the inside of the inner wheels.  Then, shave down the pointy ends of the rear end and front suspension, and narrow them as well. The idea is to get the wheels to sit flush against the molded-in brake calipers.  You’ll have to glue the wheels on after this modification, but it dramatically improves the appearance of the Taurus.



Some building tips for the R/M Dodge Intrepid kits

Cut about 1/8 off the posts (where the screws go to lower the body some). Also cut the glump of plastic on the drive shaft and seperate it from the trailing arms

Bevel the leading edge of the hood so it will close without binding up on the nose and chip the paint.

Sand all the openings that something fits in. The rear quarter window openings are very tight too, when paint builds up inside them. The body was tooled as a pre-dec and it doesn't have paint clearance allowance.

Bevel the front wheel openings to make them appear thinner.  All the screw-chassis kits seem to have the rear tires tucked in too far, make a wider axle and attach it with 5 minute epoxy so there is no side-to-side slop.


You can glue a strip of thin styrene stock to the front valance of this model to give it a lower look. Just sand off the molded-in one first, and then superglue the new one on. The stock was about .010 inch think. See pic below:



What are all those extra pieces in the new R/M Dodge kits?

Part numbers 37 and 38 are the roof spoilers. Roof spoilers are for the 2001 season only; they were not used in the 2002 season. They are in all the Dodge kits but not mentioned in the instructions for Sterling Marlin’s Dodge.

Part 42 is a brace for the engine compartment. The pins line up with the holes in the chassis bars. They are also not mentioned in the instructions, but will fit fine.  Apparently Part 43 is also an engine compartment brace, so you have your choice.

Part 80 appears to be a radiator hose, but is not mentioned in the instructions anywhere. This part appears to be superfluous.



What are some issues with the Polar Lights Talladega/Cyclone kits?

Oy! How much time do you have?
While we are happy to have these kits in circulation, they represent some tricky challenges to build correctly. They are not as easy to build as most other kits, and will take a bit or work to get everything looking right. The 429 engine provided in the kit looks great but does not fit into the engine bay without some major modifications, meaning a lot of modelers simply choose to install the 427 instead. That's what I did with mine.

How to fix the nose:
The nose on the body of these kits exhibits a slight upward turn, which is completely inaccurate for these cars. Most modelers run the nose of the car under hot water for a few minutes to soften up the plastic, and then push down on the nose to get a more proper downward rake. Some modelers make relief cuts on the inside of the front fenders, push down the nose, then reglue and putty and sand to get the front to the right stance.

(From Tom M.) "This is the first one I have done with the Tally body and the Boss '9, so I approached it with caution. Fixing the nose has been documented on here before, so I won't belabor that point. I did notice, however, that even after drooping the nose the tinwork on the body under the hood still contacted the halo bar at the rear so I shaved the bottom of the tinwork at the rear of the engine compartment until the shole halo bar contacted it evenly. This dropped the entire undercarriage below the level of the rocker panels and made it sit level from front to rear in the body shell.

This isn't a terrible kit but it's challenging. Some things, like the basic roll cage, fit together beautifully but there are no locating features so you're on your own for most of the assembly. In many ways this kit is more fiddly than the old Revell '55-'57 Chevys, but I probably built over 20 of those back in the day and once you learned the little gotchas on those they built up into nice models too. I think the PL Talladegas are the same way."

How to solve fit problems with the 429 engine:
(From Tom. M) "I was test-fitting the Boss '9 and I think I found a novel and easy solution to the engine fit problem. I had already attached the halo bar and firewall to the chassis so I got a clothespin (one of the ones with a spring in it that opens like a pair of pliers) and clipped it across the shock braces from the halo bar to the frame. With it held under pressure like that I ran water through the coffee maker to heat it, then I poured the hot water over the shock braces. The clothespin flattened the arch of the bars out just enough that the Boss '9 appears to fit (barely) without massaging the engine width. I still plan to fab some motor mounts, I think the engine needs them for better support in the frame. Also the engine appears to sit a bit low, but I will reserve judgment until I get a bit farther along with the test-fitting."

(From Rubber Duck) I mounted mine...That doen't sound good..... my engine.. by holding it in place and drilling a hole about 1/16 thru the cross member and into the oil pan. I used a rod the right size to go thru both the cross member and the oil pan. I dont think there is enough room for motor mounts, and the headers. I had to shorten mine, the headers, and remove the starter to get it to not drag the ground. I also removed the shock bars and reinstalled them on the outside of the halo bar, but I like your idea with the clothespins better. NOW the rear bumper is another guestion??????????


How do I make rear spoiler braces?

Use very thin (.020 or .025) plastic rod (Plastruct or Evergreen make these - available at most hobby shops). Cut it to length and using small needle nose pliers, gently squeeze both ends. This flattens and bulges them. You can also gently angle them to match the spoiler angle. Paint to desired color and you are done.


From Mickey:
For spoiler struts, I use .025" plastic rod. First, use a #70 drill in a pin vice to drill holes into the back, but not through, of the spoiler. This gives a recess for the next
step, which is to cut 8 short lengths of rod and glue one end into the previous step drilled recess. Now you have 8 short pieces of rod sticking out from the back of
the spoiler. After a couple hours, cut 8 more pieces of rod equal length, and squeeze both ends with needle nose pliers lightly to flatten them. Use the smooth part of
the inside of the needle nose pliers, not the end of the pliers where the criss-cross texture is. Then glue one end to the short piece of rod sticking out from the back of
the spoiler, and the other end to the bottom of the spoiler. A couple hours later, use straight cut nail clippers to trim the excess that's visible above where the two
rods were glued to make a 90 degree, and the bottom of the struts. Use a new, sharp, Xacto blade to trim any of the flat rod that's visible below the spoiler bottom.
I use liquid glue, tweezers, and a few brew's so the hands are not shaking too much. LOL.


How can I get tires/tire decals to look better?

Ah, the eternal tire question. There are several ways to approach this.

Nearly everyone on the board sands the tread of the tires first.  Real race tires often look just a bit used, even brand-new.  Use coarse sandpaper to knock down the gloss off the tread of the tire. I chuck the tire on a mandrel on my motor tool and hold the tire against coarse sandpaper while running the tool. After I'm done, I wipe down the tires with a paper towel soaked in lacquer thinner: this takes off the sheen of the vinyl and gives the tires an authentic rubber look.

Tire decals:
One method some boardies use is to thoroughly wash and dry the tires, and then dip the decal in warm/hot water, apply a little Microsol to the tire, and slide the decal in place. Using a soft, lint free cloth, press the decal in place and squeeze the excess water and air out, the re-apply the microsol. Let the tire dry for a couple hours. Then hit the tires with a couple LIGHT coats of Testor’s Dullcoat Lacquer. Some folks spray Future on the tires before applying decals, apply the decals, then hit the tires with Dullcoat.  Do NOT use clear enamel on the tires; the enamel will NEVER dry on the vinyl and you’ll be left with a sticky mess.

Another method is to use Shabo dry transfers for the NASCAR tire markings.  They are available from SMH Hobbies (www.smhracing.com). Press the transfer in place on the tire, rub with a blunt instrument, and you’re done. These look great, but are sometimes difficult to find.


How can I paint the rollcage padding?

(From Mickey Clark) I use a black Sharpie to color the roll bar cage padding.  I spray the pieces that make up the roll cage, then take the Sharpie and blacken the padding on all the pieces, and after a few hours, wipe the blackened portions with a finger to take most of the "gloss" off.  It looks very realistic.



How can I simulate tape over the hood pins?

Use very thin strips of old decals in the color of the tape...and some Solvaset.

(From Mickey)
What I did was cut thin/short strips from an Orange adhesive backed label and pressed these thin strips over the silver paint highlighted pins. I suppose you could use pin striping tape, found at Auto Supply Stores, too. I've also read where you can use the thin tape that the RC Model folks use for this.



How much should I thin paint for airbrush use?

The best answer is, “thin your paint to the consistency of milk.” How much thinner to add to get to this consistency depends on the brand of paint you’re using.  For Testor’s enamels, use 3 parts paint to 2 parts thinner for gloss paints, 2 parts paint to 1 part thinner for flat paints. I split the difference for semi-gloss black.


Why do folks keep mentioning Future Floor Wax? What do they use it for?

Future is a clear acrylic enamel (it’s not a wax) that turns out to have numerous hobby-related uses. Future makes a great clear coat. It dries fast and will not harm paint or decals.

Future can be sprayed through an airbrush unthinned.  Spray light coats, as Future can run easily if sprayed on too heavily. You will be amazed at the gloss.  Let Future dry at least 24 hours before applying decals. Some decal setting solutions or solvent will cloud Future as they are being used, but this cloudiness goes away as the solvents dry.  You can clear Future out of your airbrush with rubbing alcohol.

Some folks also brush on Future using a flat wide brush. Use a brush with soft natural hair bristles for this, as the synthetic bristles don’t seem to work as well. You have to brush very slowly in order to avoid getting air bubbles in the clear coat.


What is a good paint stripper?  What is this CSC stuff I keep hearing about?

CSC is Castrol Super Clean, an engine cleaner and degreaser. It comes in a big purple bottle and smells pleasant. You can get it at Wal-Mart and places like that. It is caustic so wear rubber gloves.

CSC is a great paint stripper for regular plastic model car bodies.  Simply pour CSC in a large plastic Tupperware container, and place the body in there. Seal it up with the lid and let sit from 24-48 hours.  Take the body out of the CSC and hold it under warm running water. Scrub it with an old toothbrush and the paint will come off fairly easily.  Forum members often refer to dunking a car in Lake CSC. DO NOT USE CSC ON DIECAST  MODELS, IT WILL PUT THE METAL.


How do I strip Pro-Finish cars?

Revell Pro Finish cars are tampo painted and then clear coated. CSC will turn that clear coat into a goopy, syrupy mess. Use brake fluid for 48-96 hours [2-4 days] to strip Revell Pro Finish cars.

Cutex brand nail polish remover will also work in stripping the graphics and clear coat off Pro-Finish bodies. Rub the body with a cotton ball or a toothbrush and Cutex and the stuff will come right off. Make sure it is non-scetone nail polish remover. 

Also, when using any stripper, use a sealable Tupperware [or other] container. Both strippers will oxidize and lose potency when exposed to air.


Help! My model kit has broken/missing parts! What can I do?

Revell/Monogram has a web-based service set up to handle these type of requests. You used to be able to get replacement parts for free, but this service was abused, and now R/M charges $3 per replacement order. The replacement service can be found at: http://www.revell-monogram.com/broken/

AMT/Ertl is not as helpful. They tell you to take the kit back to the dealer you purchased it from and get a refund/replacement from him.  Unfortunately, since many people now buy kits from eBay or at swap meets, this is not a useful policy.  Some online retailers, notably Hobby Heaven (www.modelcarkits.com) will accept returns for incomplete AMT kits you purchase from them.


What is the “Darkside”? I keep hearing board members refer to it.

The Darkside refers to stock cars raced before around 1974 or so (the actual cutoff date is a little vague).  The real criteria is that the stock car was usually purchased from the factory and then gutted and re-done to make a racer (as opposed to today where everything is custom-built at the shops).

The term Darkside came about as a reference to the pull some modelers felt to build models of these old stockers. Quotes such as “The Force is strong in this one” and “Come to the Darkside” from other modelers who specialized in these older cars quickly led to the term Darkside. I believe Bill Little was the one who coined the phrase.

Unofficially, cars raced from 1974 to around 1982 or so are sometimes called “Grayside.”  Anything after that is considered a “modern” Nascar.


Where can I get NASCAR info/pics/stats,etc.?

One easy answer: www.jayski.com

Jayski’s is an enormous news and rumor clearinghouse. If it’s happening in NASCAR, Jayski knows about it.  There are also numerous pictures of the cars at his site, which are great for references for models.


Why, when I ask for help on a Jeff Gordon model, does everyone make fun of me?

Because people on the board seem to enjoy making fun of Jeff Gordon. I don’t understand it myself, but it’s generally meant in good fun, they’ll usually answer your question along the way, and when they do make fun of Jeff all you have to do is ask how many championships has THEIR favorite driver won? ?


Why does everyone hate Rusty Wallace, Todd Bodine, Robby Gordon, etc.?

I dunno about everyone, but some drivers cause stronger emotions in board members than others. Just remember, it’s all in good fun, and it’s not to be taken all that seriously.


Specific Cars

Dale Earnhardt’s 2001 #3 Last Ride car (by Chris Kaufmann)
First thing, you need a set of the 2000 Goodwrench Slixx decals, for the Goodwrench logos and Dale's name. You need a set of either of the 2001 #29 Goodwrench decals for the fender decals, the Sonic logos and all the smaller sponsors. The next thing can be done one of two ways. If you have an extra set of the #3 2001 #3 Oreo decals from JWTBM you can rob the rear TV panel decal from them, or get the sheet that three amigos did that has the decal. Then finally, get a set of the 2002 Oreo Busch decals of Dale Jr., rob the numbers from this sheet which are the correct size. It is rather expensive, but if you’re like me and are a Dale Earnhardt fan, the cost won't matter. Then you need your favorite resin nose or resin body a roof spoiler and a gurney lip and you’re done

Here's a nice shot of an RCR engine:

Dale Earnhardt’s Last Win Car (2000 Talladega) (by Chris Kaufmann)
Slixx did a set of the 2000 #3 Goodwrench decals and they added the NO BULL orange roof number and the dollar sign for the passenger side window as well as the orange dot for the front windshield. Or you can combine a set of 2000 Goodwrench decals, with the no bull number from the 99 #3 Goodwrench set (the set with the silver trunk lid decal, #1402/9903) and go that route also. To my knowledge and from what I have seen in pictures I have saved, the fender decals and smaller sponsors that were on the 2000 sheet were correct for the 2000 No Bull win car also.

Michael Waltrip’s 2001 Daytona 500 winner (from Jodie Peeler)
 
There's quite a bit of work to be done to get an accurate model of Mikey's Daytona winning car. You will need 2 decal sheets: a 2001 Wetworks Napa Sheet, and a 2002 JWTBM Napa sheet.
    1) Use the Wetworks sheet for most of the graphics, but you'll need the JWTBM sheet for the "Auto Parts" lettering, which aren't fat enough on the Wetworks sheet. You'll also need the JWTBM sheet for the "Martin Senour" logos you'll need, as well as the larger roof number. You'll need to make some alterations to the numbers because the '02 sheet has a stepped drop-shadow that the '01 car didn't seem to have. Use the NAPA logos from the Wetworks sheet, though: they look better. Alternately, wait for the Slixx sheet and use the major bits of it.
    2) You'll have to come up with an Echlin logo for the trunk lid. The NAPA logo was on the left side of the lid, but a big whie "Echlin" logo was on the right side where the "Auto Parts" lettering is on the WW sheet.
    3) The Sealy logos on the WW sheet depict a pre-season appearance.  At Daytona, the car's Sealy logo had a white border with a black pinstripe, and the "Furniture" lettering in a separate box below.
    4) The "Michael Waltrip" names over the doors were blue with a red outline.  The WW sheets gives you a solid color. The WW Kentucky flag if the right size but not well-detailed, and the JWTBM Kentucky flag is too large for an '01 version.

    Also, please note: on the '01 Daytona winner, on the passenger side, the Sealy logo is in FRONT of the rear tire. On the driver's side, it's BEHIND the rear tire.

    I've put up a bunch of pics here.

Jeff Gordon’s 2001 Bugs Bunny car
Jeff's 2001 Bugs Bunny car ran with a special color-changing paint called Purpleen Prism. You can get the decals from William at BSR Replicas and Finishes.  For the paint, you can order it from Dave Thibodeau at Daveythib@aol.com  Be warned, the paint is a bit pricey due to its color-changing capabilities, but the effect is well worth it.



Other tips

How can I highlight small details?
(From Mickey) I use a silver leaded pencil to highlight areas that are small/slightly raised, an example is the 2 MSD boxes on the panel to the right of the drivers seat
that's attached to the roll cage (on the newer screw-and-glue R/M kits). I paint the boxes red, then after the paint dries I wet the silver lead with a soaking sponge in a dish, then lightly rub the silver lead over the raised fins on the boxes. Also use this method for the clamps holding the wire to the roll bar, coming away from the MSD boxes. This method can be used all over the model for silver/alum details.

(From Randall) Add a red and white pencile to that group for doing gauges with once they are painted flat black. Then give em a few drops of Future for lenses. Also use the silver pencil for the outer gauge rings.

Where can I find more modeling information?

Try the rec.models.scale FAQ. Lots of good stuff.